Wow. It's been two months since I announced on March 1st that I was working on this project. I finished it last weekend, and I've been waiting for warm, dry weather to snap a few photos. So here she is- Burda Style 08-2013-119:
The "To the Point" chiffon blouse:
I wish I had noticed the word "blouse" in the description, because really that's what it is. Yes, it's long like a tunic, but the fit through the shoulders and upper arms is closer than I was expecting.
I think I was sucked in by the dropped shoulders, the curved yoke seams, and the length. It's not quite as loose and easy as I was wanting, but it will do.
So here it is. I cut a 42 yoke and sleeves and a 44 lower bodice. I graded out to a 46 at the hip and then added another inch on each side at the bottom for insurance. I also omitted the cuffs and shortened the sleeves by 1.5 inches.
I used a semi-sheer poly chiffon from stash. I LOVE this fabric. It's turquoise with green medallions and has an Asian vibe to it. I think I got it at Hancock Fabrics, oh, maybe 10 years ago. It's been marinating in the stash waiting for the right pattern. I figured why not this one. (I still have several yards left, too. I must have really liked it at the time!)
Because my fabric is semi-sheer, and I wanted an opaque top, I made some changes to the pattern instructions. I read Burda's directions, and they were okay, although they seemed tedious. My changes allowed me to not only have an opaque blouse, but they actually made the construction easier (in my opinion.)
I cut two yokes (front and back) and two bodices (front and back.) I began by sewing the front and back yokes together at the shoulders. Then I sewed the outer yokes to the inner yokes right sides together from the joining point on one side all the way around the tie, the neckline, the other tie, and to the joining point on the other side. I had sewed a line of reinforcing stitches right where the yoke and bodice meet (under the ties in the photo) and I clipped my seam allowance right there and turned the right sides out.
The I stitched the underarms and basted the sleeve seam edges and the yoke seam edges together. I sewed my side seams and finished the hems. Then I put the inner and outer bodice sections together with right sides facing and stitched them with the yoke sandwiched in between. When I turned it all right side out, the seam was hidden inside the bodice layers and the blouse was finished inside and out.
At that point all that was left was to add the sleeves, which I finished with a narrow casing and 1/4" elastic. It sounds like a lot of work, but I think it was easier and faster than trying to narrow hem that entire edge around the ties and the neckline and tapering allowance toward edges of allowance, which is what Burda would have had me do.
The finished blouse is quite unique. The depth of the V in front can be somewhat controlled by how you tie the front. I've got it pulled up rather tight in the pictures (maybe too tight!) But I found that even after only a few minutes of wear, the weight of the ties starts to drag them down and the V creeps lower. I think when I wear this out to road test it, I'll wear a cami underneath for insurance. The blouse also tends to slide forward on my shoulders. I'm sure the weight of the ties is the issue, especially since I used a double layer of fabric. It would probably behave better if I'd made it as Burda intended.
But having said all that, I'm pretty pleased with my version. It's distinctive and comfortable and I think I'll get plenty of wear out of it.
Back when I first blogged this project, I also mentioned I was working on this:
I'm happy to report this one is almost complete, too. I just need to finish the sleeves and it will be done. Stay tuned for an update.
And I also cut out this one last weekend:
This one is a fabulous, relaxed tunic which I'm making from a delicious chocolate brown gauze with embroidery. I can't wait to get this one done. Of course if it takes me as long as the two above, I'll be lucky if I get to wear it for Fall!